Inspiration: Lowering (we hope) our cholesterol levels naturally with scallops and garlic.
A friend of mine asked me in early January if I would join her in a boot camp challenge. My first instinct was to say “not a chance”, but I reconsidered and signed myself up to attend boot camp 16 times in 25 days. I had never been to boot camp before and I was not sure what to expect. Boot camp involves endless jumping jacks, burpies, mountain climbers, bicep curls, lunges and my personal favorite, skull crushers. This sounds like torture and after the first class I wondered what I had got myself into!
I must admit that it is tough to find the motivation to drag myself to the class and that I show up “very grumpy”, per the instructor. However, once I am there I enjoy the work out, I leave with a smile on my face and I have felt so good the last few weeks. Not only are my arms and legs looking more toned, but I am sleeping better and have a lot more energy.
Today marked my eleventh boot camp in 18 days. Five more to go. Despite my grumbling, I have already inquired as to when the next boot camp challenge will be!
- 2 medium sweet potatoes, peeled and cut into 3 inch squares
- 3 cups water
- ½ teaspoon sea salt
- 5 cloves garlic, sliced
- 1 teaspoon sea salt
- ½ teaspoon pepper
- ¼ cup milk (I used 1% milk)
- 6 dry large sea scallops (10 count per 1 pound ), thawed if frozen*
- ¼ teaspoon sea salt
- ¼ teaspoon pepper
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- Put the sweet potatoes, water and ½ teaspoon sea salt into a medium saucepan and bring to a boil. Simmer gently for approximately 20 minutes, until tender crisp. Drain, transfer back into the saucepan and cover until ready to mix.
- While the sweet potatoes are boiling, slice four of the garlic cloves and roast on a sheet pan in the oven for five minutes at 375 degrees Fahrenheit, until browned.
- Mince the remaining garlic and, together with ¾ of the roasted garlic, one teaspoon sea salt, pepper and milk, add to the sweet potatoes. With a potato masher, food processor or a hand mixer, blend until the mixture is a puree. Note that if you use a potato masher you will have a chunkier puree than if you use a food processor or a hand mixer. Keep the puree warm over a very low heat. If the mixture gets too thick, add a little more milk.
- Pat the scallops dry with paper towels and season both sides generously with sea salt and pepper. If the scallops are too moist they will sizzle and splash dangerously when added to the hot olive oil.
- Heat the olive oil in a 12-inch skillet over medium high heat until almost smoking hot. If the pan is hot enough the scallops should not stick to the pan. Gently add the scallops in the pan without letting them touch each other. If the scallops are crowded in the pan they will steam rather than sear.
- Cook undisturbed for three minutes, until golden brown on the bottoms. Using a small metal spatula, turn the scallops and cook for two to three more minutes, until just cooked through.
- Spoon the warm puree onto two dinner plates and place three scallops on top. Sprinkle with the remaining roasted garlic.
*To thaw frozen scallops, place the scallops in a bowl of cold water for approximately half an hour and break apart.